Do You Have A Fear Of Ending Up Alone?

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My friend Chris, blogging as Moxie, wrote a thought-provoking piece a few weeks back, entitled “You Just Might End Up Alone. And That’s Okay.”

The original question reads, “I am at my wits end. I am in my early 50”²s and I can’t meet a man. I have tried the online thing and it hasn’t worked. I have a guy I’ve been friends with, but he only sees me as a friend. We have even gone away together a few times, but nothing has happened. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to be alone the rest of my life. How else are people meeting and connecting?”

Pretty common complaint. Really uncommon answer. You think I’m blunt? Moxie gives this reader a full smackdown.

“Maybe it’s time to consider the possibility that you won’t meet anybody? I know that someone who does what I do isn’t supposed to say that. We’re supposed to spout trite sayings like, “It’ll happen when you least expect it!” or “There’s a lid for every pot!” You know what? Those are placebos. They’re fake bits of wisdom meant to encourage you and keep you on the path to finding love. I’m not saying you should give up completely. But I am saying that it’s time for you to reconcile with this fear you have of ending up alone. Because more than likely, one way or another, you will.”

It’s time to get comfortable with it being just you, because that may be how it turns out.

Now, I wouldn’t have said that because I actually do believe there is a lid for every pot. And if this was the only wisdom espoused (“Give up!”) I wouldn’t be sharing this with you. But Moxie was just getting rolling. She took the words right out of my mouth with this paragraph:

“To be honest, questions like, “Where can I go to meet men?” also tire me. You can meet a man anywhere. You can walk down the street and meet a man. You can go grocery shopping and meet a man. They’re everywhere. If you’ve tried various avenues to find a man and nothing is working, then it’s time for some introspection. Something isn’t working. I can’t tell you what it is because I don’t know you. Having me list out all the ways you can meet men isn’t going to do anything if the problem lies with you. Maybe you’re expectations are out of whack. Maybe you shoot out of your league. I don’t know.”

Finally, she brings it home with a crescendo, reiterating what I’ve said for years on this blog, which is that I’m not going to post your question if I agree with you and think you’re doing a great job. I’m only going to post an answer to you if I think I can see a blind spot and share something that may shift your perspective. Moxie goes even further:

“I would guess that confirmation bias is one of the leading reasons why so many men and women who seek long term commitment end up 40 or older and single. All their lives they’ve heard the same things over and over again. Their belief systems have been reinforced by perpetually listening to or being told the same thing day in and day out. You really want to make a change, OP? Get out of what ever vacuum you exist in and start fresh. This goes for everybody. Cut out all the people and places and ways you hear about how hard dating is and how awful men and women are and how this doesn’t work and that doesn’t work. Tune. It. Out. Because if you truly make finding a relationship a priority and you develop your own belief system based solely on your experiences and your experiences alone, your opportunities will increase ten fold. It’s time to get comfortable with it being just you, because that may be how it turns out. Until you’re okay with that possibility, you will continue to struggle.”

Yeah. That’s about right. It may not be the softest response, but it’s just about the most truthful one.

The full post can be read here. Your comments, as always, are appreciated below.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Joli

    @Goldie, I’m happy to clarify.
      
    I am actually more optimistic now that I will find a LTR, but I also embrace the short-term relationships because I can have fun with a variety of people.
      
    For instance, I’m seeing a man now who is 10 years younger, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue. He’s intelligent, mature, and has a stable career. He’s easy to be with, and he treats me like a lady. I love music, and I love to dance. He’ll dance with me, but karaoke is his real passion. When we go out, we tend to combine both of our interests. I have a first date in a few days with a man (about my age) who plays in a band that I have followed for a couple of years. I have no idea if he likes to dance, but music is our common connection. (I have danced to his band’s music many times!) Both of these men are worthy of a LTR. I’m just not obsessed with the notion of finding someone to live the rest of my life with RIGHT NOW because there are a lot of wonderful people out there with whom I can have fun in the meantime.
      
    I would never consider a LTR with an individual who has no common interests with me. There has to be some level of connection; however, my list of “must haves” has been through several revisions. Intelligence is a must. Laughter is important, so I really enjoy men who have a sense of humor that is compatible with my own. I also need someone who is not jealous and who doesn’t feel threatened when I have time with friends. I cannot be with a man with an explosive temper because when I was much younger, I was involved in two abusive relationships. Volatile tempers are deal breakers with me.
      
    I recently ended a dating relationship (we are still friends) with a man who was 13 years younger. He treated me very well; however, intellectually, we were on different levels. He also seemed childlike in many ways, not because of his age but because of his personality. And, his lack of grooming was a big turn-off. Enough said.
      
    When I am in a serious relationship, I put a lot of time and effort into it. I need someone who can agree to disagree and will talk about issues because I don’t want to go through life arguing about the small stuff. What I have learned through this new way of dating is that what I was attracted to in the past and the man who is most compatible with me are not necessarily one and the same. I’m more open minded about who I will date now.
      
    Honestly, I find it ironic that my dating life has become so fulfilling now that I am approaching 50. Where do I draw the line? Too young (twenty-somethings) and too old (men who are within a decade of my mother’s age). Explosive tempers. Smokers (because the smoke nauseates me). Men who are not my intellectual equal. Men with no goals. Men who act “old.” Men who are so set in their ways that they no longer pursue some kind of adventure in life.   Men who drunk dial me. Alcoholics and drug abusers.
      
    Yes, I do have deal breakers, but I’ve also found that the men I’ve had the most fun with are the same men I would have never considered dating in the past. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised that these men that I would have previously turned down have more character and depth than I would have ever imagined. Integrity is paramount, and I’m finding more men with integrity now that I date multiple men than I did when I was trudging through one relationship at a time. I am optimistic that a LTR is in the near future. I’m just not pushing for one at the moment.

  2. 42
    Goldie

    Thank you Joli. Good advice! I will certainly keep it in mind now that I’m getting ready to go back to dating again. Best wishes to you in your love life!
      

  3. 43
    Lau_ra

    @Joli,
    you definitely have very good points here in all of your comments.  

  4. 44
    Joli

    Update: I’m now in a committed relationship. It took three months and dating around with eight different men to find him.

  5. 45
    Kathleen

    Joli  
    Thats pretty fast. I love your attitude. So how did you handle men that were pressuring you for sex and how did you discuss your requirement for monogamy?

  6. 46
    Mickey

    Fear? No.
    Resignation? Yes.

  7. 47
    Mickey

    Erika #28:
    Genesis 2:
    18  Then the  Lord  God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone;  I will make him a helper fit for[a]  him.”  
    21  So the  Lord  God caused a  deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  
    24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
      
    God knows and understands our needs, so am sorry for all the ones who don’t want to be alone for the right reasons, the good news is they can find love and strength only if they get close to him.  
      
    Scripture also says, among many others, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and “With God, all things are possible.”
    Admittedly, in my  severely limited thinking I have a hard time reconciling those verses to the fact that there is tension (if not outright hostility) between the sexes.
    So, when the time comes for me to leave this earth, and I have not experienced a significant other who loved me for me, I don’t think I would regret it. After all, one can never miss what one never had, right?
      

  8. 48
    Joli

    @Kathleen#45,
      
    I didn’t have any issues with men pressuring me for sex. I made it clear that I would only become intimate with a man with whom I was in a monogamous relationship. I guess I was lucky.
      
    The biggest issue is that some people thought that dating around was cruel to the men who were attracted to the idea of having a relationship to me. I was completely upfront about what I was doing and encouraged the men to date around if they felt it was necessary. The most difficult part was telling a very nice man that I had chosen someone else.
      
    This is the first time in my life that I had chosen to date around. It worked out well for me. The man I chose was an acquaintance I had known for two and-a-half years. It took only one date for both of us to decide that a monogamous relationship was worth pursuing.

  9. 49
    Erika

    Mickey#47:
    Admittedly, in my  severely limited thinking I have a hard time reconciling those verses to the fact that there is tension (if not outright hostility) between the sexes.So, when the time comes for me to leave this earth, and I have not experienced a significant other who loved me for me, I don’t think I would regret it. After all, one can never miss what one never had, right?

    Mickey,  
    Tension between sexes is just one of the many obstacles we decide to fight or not in order to find and keep a relationship, as I mentioned at the beggining of my comment;  This is a very delicate topic, I think we can’t be defending one side only.  
    I used those verses mentioned in the Bible as a reference only, so we can have different points of view regarding this topic, but I know from people who have found partners by praying, I mean is not all about praying, our desires come along with actions, which means that the person who prays, will also make an effort to meet people, do more activities.,etc
    If we see it from another perspective, we don’t always get what we want, we get what we need, and in many cases we get what we deserve. So there’s a possibility of not getting answers from God regarding finding and meeting someone, just because that’s not in his plans for you.  
    And of course I agree with the fact that  one can never miss what one never had, but at least when the time comes for me to leave this earth I’d love to know I did all I could in order to make my dream of finding someone come true. 🙂  
      
      
      
      

  10. 50
    Kathleen

    Jolie 48
    Im happy for you and thanks for your encouraging post.  
    Im a similar age as you. I think dating several men until you decide on one is very smart. I cant imagine someone saying its cruel. Think it keeps you objective, unattached to an outcome and think if men have a sense of the competition they will be more inspired to “claim” you.
    I think when you have known someone before in real life you can have many reference points to their character. In the online world, many guys are not so accountable for bad behavior so it doesnt surprise me you made a decision in one date.   
    all the best!   

  11. 51
    judy

    Joli 41 – I loved your post.   And so happy you found the right man.   Good for you!
    Erika 49 – Yes, in theory, it’s wonderful to believe that tadida, being close to God is the best thing in life.   In reality, I’d rather be warm in bed with a physical man than with a spiritual being.   Sorry to be brutal, but this God stuff tends to get truly up my nose when what I want most is not my Bible, but a kiss, cuddle, sex, and affection.
    With my deepest apologies if that offends you, but the Bible also tells us to tell the truth.   And that is my truth.

    1. 51.1
      Erika

      Judy  ¨  In reality, I’d rather be warm in bed with a physical man than with a spiritual being.   Sorry to be brutal, but this God stuff tends to get truly up my nose when what I want most is not my Bible, but a kiss, cuddle, sex, and affection.

      With my deepest apologies if that offends you, but the Bible also tells us to tell the truth.   And that is my truth. ¨

      If you rather be with a man than with a Bible, that is easy to do, you can go get it without making nasty comments regarding God and his word, I know this topic annoys you because every single thing I said is true. I can tell you need sex as hell lol your matter of perception is based in sex only, you didn ´t mention other thing rather than needing sex, and affection and a kiss, really? you sound like a teen, by the way are you 13 or something? If that ´s all you need from a man you don ´t need to make a huge effort unless you are ugly, but even if you were a mini skirt, and a   bunch of makeup would help you get it asap…. I mean sex only, don ´t ask me about keeping him.

  12. 52
    Steve

    I know why I’ll end up alone… because I’m too ugly to attract anyone. Some say I look OK, but I think this is just a variant of the old “You’ll find love when you least expect it” nonsense. They don’t want to tell the truth about how I really look because they think they’re sparing my feelings, or they don’t wish to appear shallow.
    Seriously, if I wasn’t so ugly, I would have found someone by now instead of being on this endless ride of rejection, more rejection, and “let’s just be friends” and a whole bunch of other garbage.  
    A good dose of confidence is of no value when people can’t get past your looks.

  13. 53
    Truth

    For many of us men it really sucks to be all Alone since we’re hoping to find love with a Good Woman. Loneliness certainly sucks for many of us.

  14. 54
    Willow

    This is depressing.   I know myself, and if I don’t find love in the next couple of years (I’m 31 now) I will end my own life. I’ve been in search of it my whole life. Never had a father or husband. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. To end up alone would be the final insult in my pathetic life.

  15. 55
    Julian

    Just because someone is having a difficult time meeting someone doesn’t mean there is something wrong with her or him. That’s what most “therapists” and the like espouse; that eventually, it must be something wrong with you.  
    Really? I’m 33, living in Brooklyn for many years. I am in great athletic shape, I have served in the military for over 9 years, traveled many places. have many interests, have taken part in so many different social activities to meet people, volunteered actively, accepted meet ups, set ups and screw ups   and yet–after all this I am still on my own. After revolving around the sun 33 times, I can count on a few fingers people who are close to me. and I can also say that after much counseling, therapy, self improvement, reading, journal writing, reading and introspective work, there is nothing wrong with me. I simply needed to fine tune a few issues but there is nothing inherently wrong with me.

    I have met women on trains, on the street, in church, in school and so on and so on.  
    It saddens me to say, almost 99% of them were catfish–otherwise known as not truly single and not truly honest. How come we have such a hard time accepting that there is also something very much amiss in our society? People would rather text than call, rather play on Facebook than in real life and quite frankly, if you look at marriage statistics, people are getting married less and less each year.

    Am I a loner by choice? Yes and no. Anyone who live in NYC, holler if you are reading this because you know how rough it can be. I also don’t have one more minute to waste, not one second, not one more. I have no time to throw on foolishness or simply going along with everyone else and having casual sex or dating just to not be alone. Truth is, the darkness is scary. So I embrace it just like I embrace the light. You can’t threaten me with warnings that I’ll end alone because I already have been for over 8 years. Most people will do everything they can to grab anyone just not to be alone—only to end up alone in the end.

    I have spent many years doing what most people never do: getting to know who they are, really taking the time to know themselves. And though it has been crushingly brutal, sad and often vicious, that’s just how our world has become. What have I realized from all of this? I cannot live without love and I cannot do it without God. It is going to take a miracle to find a good relationship today.  
    And I sincerely hope that all of you, especially the ones crushed by loneliness, find what God Has for you. I feel you and pray for people like us every day.
    You’re not the only ones out here in the cold.  

  16. 56
    Carl

    Well for many of us good single men out there that are still looking for a good woman to settle down with, we do fear that this is the way that our life is going to be. I will certainly admit that i really hate being single and i rather find a good woman to have a relation ship with instead of being all alone with no one, and when all your family members and friends are settled down which they were very blessed to find the love of their life certainly upsets us even more. But many women these days are very independent, spoiled, and selfish which will add to our problem, especially since many of them nowadays think their God’s gift to men which makes it worse for us looking for love which does have a lot to do with it too. It very obvious that many women don’t need a man to survive since many of them can make it on their own, and the women of years ago were certainly much different than the ones that are out there today which it was a lot easier meeting many good women in those days since most of them along with their men that had to work very hard to make ends meat.. Now most women are very spoiled just like i mentioned, and many women are now very high maintenance since many of them don’t even want a relationship anymore. It is very obvious why there are so many of us single men nowadays, and we really can’t even blame ourselves since most women now are nothing like the good old fashioned women were which is the reason why the divorce rate is so out of control now thanks to all the cheating women out there today.

  17. 57
    Diane

    This is all such BS. I was married for 20 years to a man who I loved unconditionally and found out later I was married to a complete liar – even had 3 kids together. Evan can go on and on about “good” men out there who don’t lie, cheat or abuse, but the fact is they do – all of them. I waited 3 years after my divorce to date – by choice- because my children needed my focus (they were young teens then). I met a man at a dinner party, had NO intention at that time to have a relationship, but it ended up developing into one. One that I enjoyed a lot, became great friends and fell in what I thought was love. He told me he loved me, wanted to be with me for the rest of our lives, neither of us wanted marriage but we were talking about having a “commitment” ceremony. I adored him. We always laughed, had loads of fun together and it was such a nice easy going relationship. Then- OF COURSE-I find out he has been seeing others behind my back. He knew what I went through in my marriage, and still put me through that same garbage. Men have no honor, only intention. Intention to get what they want, intention to lie, intention to cheat on really good, wonderful women, intention to prove to themselves that they are somehow superior. Well, I told him goodbye when I found out. There was no drama, I wished him well and blocked/deleted him from my phone, email, etc…It’s the same thing over and over with most women I know. Men CANNOT be faithful. It’s not in them. I don’t care who you are. Given the chance, they will cheat and lie. So, at the ripe old age of 49 I am done. I am so pissed off, that no man would want to be around me anyway. Plus, I would not give another man any chance in hell to try and prove me wrong. It’s not worth it. They are not worth it. I like me, and being with me. I do not need a relationship, nor do I want one ever again. I do not think there is anything wrong with that. Besides, there is not one man on this planet that could ever treat a loyal woman correctly. They just aren’t capable over the long haul.

  18. 58
    VeryHonest

    Well i certainly rather be single instead of being in a very bad marriage.

  19. 59
    Nicole

    @ Joli: Thank you, that was exactly what I needed to hear.   I’ve just realized in the past week that I’ve recently made the common mistake of losing my fun vibe by putting so much pressure on myself to get married and have kids based on some ridiculous timeline that I’ve had for a decade now.   It has turned me into a needy and obsessive freak who is probably scaring the shit out of the men I’m dating.   The funny thing is in the past, I never used to focus on this because I always felt like I had plenty of time!

    Since I am quickly approaching 27 and still single (please be kind, folks, all of my close friends have been married for at least a year now, and of course I’m the one with an established career out of all of them) I know I need to throw the timeline out and I think the idea of just focusing on finding the right Mr. Right Now may just be the best approach.   Recently I have been far too quick to accept offers of monogamy prior to really getting to know people (far too easy to do when online dating) just like you said you’ve done, and I think your idea is the best I’ve heard so far.   Wish me luck in actually executing on this plan!

  20. 60
    Helper

    I’m sorry, But the first response to this question is completely   ignorant to the whole purpose of this website, People who are alone, Do not have anyone else to ask so they ask on here.
    In what way is shattering there hopes of finding someone helping them rather then doing your job, being active with the problem and solving the apparent issue.
    Everybody can find someone, expand your network, branch out, find new hobbies, go to your local community outlet.

    Just be confident and be yourself.

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